Archive for February 23rd, 2015

February 23, 2015

Aniconism

iconoclasm

Charlie Hebdo

Aniconism [an-ahy-kuh-niz-uhm] is the practice of or belief in the avoiding or shunning of images of divine beings, prophets or other respected religious figures, or in different manifestations, any human beings or living creatures. The term ‘aniconic’ may be used to describe the absence of graphic representations in a particular belief system, regardless of whether an injunction against them exists.

An avoidance and repugnance of holy representations is called ‘iconophobia,’ its antonymic reaction being that of an ‘iconodule’ (one who is in favor of religious images or icons and their veneration). Aniconism can lead to iconoclasm, the destruction of sacred images as heretical. Aniconism can also lead to censorship, which takes place after a representation was already produced, but before, or shortly after, it is made public.

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